How do I use hair straighteners in Ethiopia?

Ethiopian power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Ethiopia?

Check your hair straighteners can handle the voltage in Ethiopia:

  • If your hair straighteners can run using 220 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can check) then you'll only need to bring the right power adapter listed below if the plug on your hair straighteners won't fit.

If not then either:

  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with an 220 volt Ethiopian power outlet, however this is substantially bulkier, heavier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but won't change the actual physical shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the types of wall outlet used in Ethiopia, so please check that the voltage transformer includes a power adapter for Ethiopia otherwise you will need to bring a seperate power adapter. Please be aware that your own existing hair straighteners might not be suited for travel and you risk damage in a suitcase. [11] [AD]
Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle the 220 volts used in Ethiopia you run the potential risk of damage to your hair straighteners, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Prior to using your hair straighteners in Ethiopia read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Ethiopia

Will my hair straighteners work in Ethiopia?

That depends on if your hair straighteners is designed to handle the 220 volt power outlets in Ethiopia:

Will my American hair straighteners work in Ethiopia?

The guides on this page assume that you are a reader from America visiting Ethiopia and will provide advice on using your American hair straighteners with an Ethiopian power outlet.

Ethiopia power outlets and plug sockets

What voltage is used in Ethiopia?

The voltage used in Ethiopia is 220 volts.

What is the electrical frequency used in Ethiopia?

The frequency from an Ethiopian power outlet is 50 Hz. [12]

Which travel adapter will you need to bring for using hair straighteners in Ethiopia?

There are four types of power outlets used in Ethiopia, types E, C, F and L with the primary power outlets being type E:

  • Plug Type C - This power socket can be identified by 2 adjacent holes next to each other.
  • Plug Type E - This round power socket, technically known as the type E power outlet or CEE 7/7 socket, can be recognised by two large circular holes 19mm adjacent to each other along with a metal earth pin protruding in the top to form a triangular pattern.
  • Plug Type F - You can recognise the plug socket by two adjacent holes next to each other along with a pair of two thin metal grounding clips above and below.
  • Plug Type L - This hexagon shaped wall outlet, also known as a type L power outlet, looks like three large circular holes in a line. You'll find there are two different types of Type L plug socket rated for 10 amps and 16 amps. A 10 amp version has 4mm thick round pins that are spaced 5.5mm apart, and a 16 amp version has larger 5mm pins that are spaced 8mm apart.

A recommended power adapter to bring for using 220 volt hair straighteners in Ethiopia is a Type E power adapter - read the step by step guide below for full details of using hair straighteners in Ethiopia. Note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you might also need to bring a voltage converter.  [6] [13] [AD]

Which travel adapter will you need to bring for using  hair straighteners in Ethiopia?

Dual voltage hair straighteners

How can I tell if my hair straighteners are dual voltage?

Single voltage hair straighteners

How can I tell if my hair straighteners are dual voltage?

One way to tell if your hair straighteners supports a dual voltage outlet is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or handle of your hair straighteners. This location might depend on the make and model of your hair straighteners and could also state in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage hair straighteners will change automatically but other straighteners will feature a button or switch which allows you to operate between different regions.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates single voltage hair straighteners. If this number matches the 220 volts used in Ethiopia then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with an Ethiopian power outlet.
  • A small voltage range with a dash such as 100-120V also indicates single voltage hair straighteners which can accomodate small voltage fluctuations. If the 220 volts used in an Ethiopian power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you should be able to use it in Ethiopia.
  • A larger range separated with a dash or slash such as 100/240V indicates dual voltage hair straighteners capable of being used in Ethiopia or any other country.
 [14] [AD]

Travelling to Ethiopia with hair straighteners

Is it safer to bring your domestic hair straighteners or travel hair straighteners to Ethiopia?

It is preferable to bring dual voltage travel hair straighteners rather than bringing your existing domestic hair straighteners to Ethiopia as it is safer to assume that they'll operate correctly with the 220 volt power outlets used with an Ethiopian power outlet, provided that you bring the correct plug adapter for Ethiopia. Note that bringing expensive domestic hair straighteners could put them at risk due to potential damage or loss in transit by an airport baggage handler. The inconvenience and costs of repairing or replacing expensive quality domestic hair straighteners in Ethiopia might be higher than purchasing cheap dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] before your trip. If you intend to pack your own personal hair straighteners in your luggage it is recommended to either slide them inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light knocks, or use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case or heat travel mat for hair straighteners and curling irons which will also allow the hair straighteners to be packed whilst hot without waiting to cool down.   [15] [16] [AD]

Can you take hair straighteners in your carry on luggage?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can you take hair straighteners in your carry on luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners there is no restriction on bringing mains powered hair straighteners in your hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA also recommends that you should verify that the airline who is flying you to Ethiopia will allow hair straighteners onboard and that they will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane. Packing the hair straighteners in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves them easily accessible by airport security checks, they can be packed away quickly and will avoid a tangle of power wires in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping cables tightly around hair straighteners). If you intend to pack fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage as this offers the greatest protection against knocks and drops during transit.    [14] [15] [17] [18] [AD]

Power converters for Ethiopia

Do I need a voltage converter to use my hair straighteners in Ethiopia?

A power converter (or voltage transformer) allows hair straighteners using a different voltage to work using a 220 volt power outlet used in Ethiopia. Travellers wishing to use their own domestic hair straighteners can use a power converter, however it can be considerably cheaper to buy dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] than it is to buy a power converter. Also, a power converter is significantly heavier than travel hair straighteners making a power converter less suitable when packing compared to travel hair straighteners. [11] [AD]

What is the difference between a voltage converter and a plug adapter for Ethiopia?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a voltage converter and a plug adapter for Ethiopia?

A heavy and bulky power converter will transform the voltage of 220 volts from an Ethiopian power outlet to work with non-220 volt hair straighteners, but a smaller and more lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit into a power outlet in Ethiopia. [11] [AD]

Hair straightener safety

Are hair straighteners dangerous?

The temperature of the ceramic plates used in hair straighteners can reach over 200 degrees with the potential to burn hair, skin, and even start a fire if not used correctly. According to figures from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service electrical beauty products have been responsible for an estimated 650,000 fires in the United Kingdom alone.

How can I minimise risk using hair straighteners?

A heat resistant glove

How can I minimise risk using hair straighteners?

  • Skin protection: Wear heat resistant gloves during styling to protect hands from heat.
  • Children's protection: With 10% of children's burns being caused by hair straighteners it is recommended to look for hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap to keep the plates closed shut when not in use, making it easier to store out of reach of children.
  • Luggage protection: Placing hair straighteners directly into luggage without allowing them to cool down can risk damage to clothes and heating up combustible or flammable packed items. If your hair straighteners weren't supplied with a heat protective cap then wrap them in a heat mat or use a hot tools travel case to pack them into luggage whilst warm. A travel case will also keep expensive hair straighteners protected from damage during transit.
  • Hair protection: Applying a heat protectant spray prior to using hair straighteners is essential to prevent burning, as well as using the correct technique for your hair type - read our guide on how to use hair straighteners for comprehensive information.
  • Fire protection: It can take up to 40 minutes for hair straighteners to cool down so resting your straighteners on a heat mat could reduce the risk of setting fire to furniture. Forgetting to turn off hot domestic appliances can also cause fires. This risk can be reduced by using a model of straightener with a timer socket which will turn itself off automatically after a certain length of time, you can also add this feature to any basic straighteners by using a timer socket in a power outlet.    [15] [16] [19] [20] [21] [22] [AD]
How can I add a safety timer to my existing hair straighteners?

Hair straighteners connected to a timer power outlet

How can I add a safety timer to my existing hair straighteners?

1 in 12 owners of hair straighteners admit to forgetting to turn them off after use, unless your hair straighteners have a built in automatic timer then leaving them on could potentially start a fire. However you can add this functionality to any model even if it doesn't have an integrated timer:

  1. Add an automatic timer to any hair straighteners by plugging them into a timer socket then plugging the timer into a power outlet.
  2. Turn on the timer and use the hair straighteners as normal.
  3. After you have finishing using the hair straighteners turn off the power at the outlet.
  4. However if you forget to turn the power outlet off then the timer will automatically switch off the straighteners after a pre-set length of time. Depending on the model of timer this could be 15, 30, 60 or 120 minutes - ideally pick the shortest length of time possible.
  5. For added peace of mind use a power outlet splitter to share the outlet from the timer with both your hair straighteners and a lamp. When the timer is running both the straighteners and the lamp will be turned on, making the lamp a clear indicator that the straighteners are still being heated. When leaving a room it is second nature to ensure all lights are turned off, if the lamp is still on then this acts as a reminder to switch off the straighteners.
  [21] [23] [AD]

How to treat a hot iron burn

If you accidentally burn yourself run cold water under your burn and if it is severe it is advised to seek medical attention from a doctor or hospital.

How to use hair straighteners in Ethiopia using a type C power adapter

Instructions showing how to power hair straighteners in Ethiopia with a two prong Type C travel adapter.

  1. Check that your hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or works with a 220 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then don't proceed because you may create an electrical fire hazard, damage your straighteners or blow a fuse. Before using a travel straighteners which can toggle between different voltages ensure you have set it to accept 220 volts - please refer to the instructions for more details on how to do this.
  2. You'll need to buy a Type C plug adapter [4] if the shape of the power outlet used in Ethiopia isn't the same shape as the plug shape on your hair straighteners. The Type C plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs on appliances from other countries for use with an electrical outlet in Ethiopia by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Start by inserting the Type C plug adapter in the Ethiopian power outlet. You can identify this wall supply by 2 round holes adjacent to each other where the live and neutral plug outlet pins slide into.
  4. Next plug in the hair straighteners into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Ethiopian power outlet.
  6. You can now switch on your straighteners to use in Ethiopia.
How to use  hair straighteners in Ethiopia using a type C power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in Ethiopia using a type E power adapter

Instructions showing how to power your hair straighteners in Ethiopia with a two pin Type E travel adapter.

  1. Please make sure that the hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 220 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then do not continue as you could damage your straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage straighteners usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating your straighteners ensure the switch is set to the 220 volt setting for use in Ethiopia, please consult the owners manual to find out where this switch is located.
  2. You'll need to use a Type E plug adapter [6] if the type of power outlet which is used in Ethiopia doesn't take the plug of your hair straighteners. This power adapter will fit different plugs from other countries for a power outlet found in Ethiopia by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. First insert the Type E plug adapter into the wall outlet. You can identify this wall supply by two 4.8mm circular holes 19mm adjacent to each other plus a metal earth pin protruding in the top forming a triangular pattern.
  4. Next plug in the hair straighteners into the Type E plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Ethiopian power outlet.
  6. You can now switch on your straighteners to use in Ethiopia.
How to use  hair straighteners in Ethiopia using a type E power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in Ethiopia using a type F power adapter

Instructions showing how to power hair straighteners in Ethiopia with a two prong Type F travel adapter.

  1. Check that your hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 220 volt power outlet - but if it doesn't then do not attempt these instructions because you may blow a fuse, damage your straighteners or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel straighteners which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to the 220 volt setting - please consult the user guide for more details on where this switch is located.
  2. You'll need to use a Type F plug adapter [8] if the shape of plug used on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the plug outlet used in Ethiopia. This Type F plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries into an electrical outlet in Ethiopia by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Start the process by inserting the Type F plug adapter in the wall outlet. The recessed circular plug outlet can be identified by two large round adjacent holes next to each other where the live and neutral plug outlet pins go and grounding clips above and below.
  4. Next plug in the hair straighteners into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Ethiopian power outlet.
  6. You can now switch on your straighteners to use in Ethiopia.
How to use  hair straighteners in Ethiopia using a type F power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in Ethiopia using a type L power adapter

Instructions showing how to power hair straighteners in Ethiopia with a Type L travel adapter.

  1. Ensure that the straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or is compatible with a 220 volt power supply but if not then don't proceed because you might create an electrical fire hazard, damage your straighteners or blow a fuse. Some hair straighteners will sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using your straighteners make sure you have set it to accept 220 volts, refer to the instructions to find out how to do this.
  2. If the plug shape on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of outlet used in Ethiopia you will need to bring a Type L plug adapter [10]. The Type L plug adapter will help fit plugs on appliances from other countries for use with an electrical outlet found in Ethiopia simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type L plug adapter into the Ethiopian power outlet. The squashed hexagon shaped wall supply, sometimes called a Type L power outlet [9], looks like three large circular holes in a line. You'll find there are two different types of Type L plug outlet rated for 10 amps and 16 amps. A 10 amp wall supply has 4mm thick round pins that are spaced 5.5mm apart, whilst a 16 amp version has larger 5mm pins which are spaced 8mm apart.
  4. Next plug in the hair straighteners into the Type L plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Ethiopian power outlet. The straighteners can now be switched on.
How to use  hair straighteners in Ethiopia using a type L power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Ethiopian Wiki page
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel hair straighteners
  3. iec.ch - Type C power outlet
  4. Type C plug adapter - European Europlug Type C plug adapters are unearthed and comprise of two 4mm rounded pins placed 19mm apart, costs between $5 to $10.
  5. iec.ch - Type E power outlet
  6. Type E plug adapter - There are two 4.8mm pins on the Type E plug adapter which are placed 19mm apart and includes a hole in the top for an earthing pin, costing between $5 to $10.
  7. iec.ch - Type F power outlet
  8. Type F plug adapter - Schuko Type F plug adapters are earthed using two clips at the top and bottom with two rounded 4.8mm pins set 19mm apart, under $10.
  9. iec.ch - Type L power outlet
  10. Type L plug adapter - Earthed Italian Type L plug adapters comprise of three pins placed in parallel, each rounded pin is either 4mm thick with 5.5mm gaps or 5mm thick with 8mm gaps depending on 10 or 16 amp version, priced at between $5 to $10.
  11. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts, between $110 to $120.
  12. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  13. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  14. Dual voltage travel hair straighteners - Hair straighteners with adjustable temperature and dual voltage for 110 volts and 220 volts suitable for international travel, estimated cost between $60 to $70.
  15. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, under $15.
  16. Heat travel mat for hair straighteners and curling irons - Protects surfaces from hot hair irons and wraps around the appliance allowing instant packing into baggage, around $10.
  17. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners -
  18. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, costs between $50 to $60.
  19. Heat resistant gloves for hair styling - Heat resistant glove recommended to protect skin against the risk of heat from a curling iron, flat iron or hair dryer, priced between $4 to $5.
  20. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons, between $10 to $15.
  21. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, estimated cost under $10.
  22. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel, costs between $230 to $240.
  23. Power outlet splitter - Splits a single power outlet to multiple power outlets, allowing multiple appliances to simultaneously use a single wall outlet, priced around $5.